Many people are afraid to let their children ride a school bus to commute to and from school. There are many reasons for this fear, though the reality is that children are far safer on a school bus than they are in a passenger vehicle. Some reasons for the perception of school buses as being unsafe include the fact that there are no seat belts on a school bus, there are so many children and often not enough monitors, and the vehicle is so large. Further, parents don’t feel like they have the same control over their children’s safety when they ride the bus. Yet, school buses really are the safest mode of transportation for children, which is because they are designed to minimize the likelihood of injuries if an accident should occur and the drivers are trained to avoid accidents.
Most Frequent Causes of Auto Accidents Involving School Buses
The most frequent causes of auto accidents in Cleveland that involve school buses is not the school bus drivers or even the children who may cause distractions. Rather, they are far more likely to be caused by other drivers in the traffic congestion of school pick-ups and drop-offs, or on more remote roads where other drivers may not pay attention to the signals and frequent stops. They are often rear end auto accidents, where the vehicle behind the bus strikes the rear of the bus. This can happen because the driver didn’t anticipate the stop, didn’t notice the signal, and was in a hurry.
For instance, one fairly recent school bus accident involved a rear end chain reaction. A vehicle behind the school bus hit the bus, causing the bus to hit the vehicle in front, and so forth, until a number of vehicles were involved. The school bus was empty, except for the driver and a monitor, and nobody had any life threatening injuries. This particular incident did not involve the frequent stops made by a school bus or the necessity of picking up or dropping off students, though many rear end collisions with school buses are caused by those situations as well.
When a school bus accident is the fault of the bus driver, it is not uncommon for lawsuits and criminal charges to result from the incident. School bus drivers are held to a high standard of competence and attentiveness on the road. This is because they are not only in charge of the lives of the students on board, but are also likely to cause serious damage to others due to the size of the vehicle. So, when a school bus driver crossed the center lane in a March 2017 accident and ended up causing serious injuries in a head on impact with another vehicle, the bus driver was held accountable.
Different Outcomes Resulting from a School Bus Accident
When a school bus accident happens, there are many possible outcomes. There are serious risks for the bus driver, the students on the bus, and the drivers and passengers of other vehicles. Yet, the students on the bus are in the safest position. A perfect example of this is a collision between a school bus with 11 student passengers and a passenger vehicle with an adult driver and child passenger. This was a head on collision, caused by the passenger vehicle, and it occurred during the morning school drop-off traffic Crescent High School. Although the both people in the passenger vehicle were injured and taken to the hospital, everyone on the school bus was uninjured. The school bus driver received a medical evaluation, as anyone in an auto accident should, to make sure that there were no unnoticed injuries. The experienced automobile collision attorneys at the Chester Law Group in Cleveland, Ohio, recommend that if you are ever in any auto accident, you should seek medical treatment. It may be that you have no injuries at all. Yet, it could also be the case that you do have injuries with symptoms masked by the adrenaline of the collision. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
It is uncommon for injuries in a school bus accident to be severe because school buses are designed to keep the passengers safe in case of a collision. The individuals in the normal passenger vehicle are far more likely to sustain serious injuries after any auto accident that involves a school bus, regardless of who was at fault for the collision.
Having said that, it is also important to understand that how the student passengers behave in a school bus contributes to their level of safety. When students are standing or moving from one seat to another, they are at greater risk for sustaining injuries if an accident should occur. In April, four out of 20 students on a school bus were injured when the bus was involved in a head on collision. The accident was still far worse for the other driver who ended up trapped in a vehicle that caught fire. The driver of the passenger vehicle and all four injured students survived the accident.
In another incident, two out of twenty-two school bus passengers were transported to the hospital after a rear end auto accident that was caused by another passenger vehicle. The students sustained neck injuries and knee injuries, and nobody was killed in this incident either. If you or your child has been involved in a school bus accident in Cleveland, Ohio, seeking a full medical evaluation to ensure that there are no injuries and to treat any injuries that may exist. Then, contact the attorneys at the Chester Law Group to get a free consultation and learn more.